Lately social networking is getting it in the neck: go on Facebook and you could get stalked or burgled; a careless tweet could leave you with egg on your face or a writ being served. It’s a far cry from the days of getting out there and getting noticed, when a blog could be a passport to fame and fortune in the real world.
Of course, the upside is still there, and those of us who aren’t completely nuts or hopelessly indiscreet will carry on finding useful information, making contacts or just having a bit of fun. This week BillyNoJob (happily now in a job!) also reminded me of another less obvious but quite significant aspect to the web’s potential when he says, “One of the things I value most about Twitter is the way it allows me to stay in contact with people that I profoundly disagree with.”
I take this to mean that on the web, while we will naturally be drawn to like minded people, we also have the opportunity to observe people we might find it embarrassing, risky or just inappropriate to acknowledge in real life. Of course we might make mistakes and there are dangers for the vulnerable or needy, but don’t lets forget that in a world where opinion seems to be getting more polarised, anything that broadens our understanding is also a good thing.
On a more practical level, the ‘productivity’ of time spent on the web (as discussed by last week’s guest) always has to be balanced against the need to get other things done, and for me there are several calling for attention right now, so you may be seeing a bit less of me around here.
But don’t worry, I’m not far away, or as some might say… I’ll be back!